Rising incidence of thyroid cancer in Singapore not solely due to micropapillary subtype

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION

The annual incidence of thyroid cancer is known to vary with geographic area, age and gender. The increasing incidence of thyroid cancer has been attributed to increase in detection of micropapillary subtype, among other factors. The aim of the study was to investigate time trends in the incidence of thyroid cancer in Singapore, an iodine-sufficient area.

MATERIALS AND METHODS

Data retrieved from the Singapore National Cancer Registry on all thyroid cancers that were diagnosed from 1974 to 2013 were reviewed. We studied the time trends of thyroid cancer based on gender, race, pathology and treatment modalities where available.

RESULTS

The age-standardised incidence rate of thyroid cancer increased to 5.6/100,000 in 2013 from 2.5/100,000 in 1974. Thyroid cancer appeared to be more common in women, with a higher incidence in Chinese and Malays compared with Indians. Papillary carcinoma is the most common subtype. The percentage of papillary microcarcinoma has remained relatively stable at around 38% of all papillary cancers between 2007 and 2013. Although the incidence of thyroid cancer has increased since 1974, the mortality rate has remained stable.

CONCLUSION

This trend of increase in incidence of thyroid cancer in Singapore compares with other published series; however, the rise seen was not solely due to micropapillary type. Thyroid cancer was also more common in Chinese and Malays compared with Indians for reasons that needs to be studied further.

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